Great Metal Albums of 1985: Virgin Steele- Noble Savage


Often times I complain that people are too quick to categorize bands into metal sub-genres rather than just to sit back and enjoy the music. In the case of Virgin Steele with their third album, “Noble Savage,” this might be an advantage. While nowadays, they are classed as ‘progressive’ metal, back in 1985, many hardcore metalheads branded them wimpy because of the use of keyboards. See, in that time, the use of keyboards in metal was a topic for serious debate as to whether or not to class a band metal or not.

“Noble Savage’s” first track totally grasps my point. It begins with a keyboard introduction before going hard into the first track, “We Rule the Night,” is a great song to open the album. While the keyboards don’t appear in the next track, “I’m On Fire,” which is a good rocking track except for David DeFeis trying too hard to be an Ian Gillan with the screams. I said this about the previous album, “Guardians of the Flame,” that DeFeis’s voice isn’t cut out for screaming.

Fortunately, he doesn’t do it on the next track, “Thy Kingdom Come” and that makes it one of the best tracks on the album. His straightforward singing sounds much better on this track as does the his keyboards work combined with the guitar from the band’s new addition, Ed Pursino, who comes into his own in this track. That combination of everything being done right is why “The Kingdom Come” is the best track on the album.

Ed Pursino had replaced former Virgin Steele guitarist Jack Starr who resigned from the band before they recorded this album. While I won’t contrast the two because I remember how Jack shone on the previous album and Pursino shows he was the right one to replace him on this album. He does lay down a blinder of a solo on the title track. Speaking of the title track, it starts as a rocker but in the second half of the song, goes more progressive. DeFeis does a little screaming on this part of the song but he doesn’t try to scream the house down and sounds okay. He found his range on this track.

The next three songs are more hard metal tunes and the band stays tight throughout all of them. Each member doing what they do best. Some good to decent soloing from Ed, backed by a tight rhythm section and David keeps his vocals within the appropriate range, all good. Then comes the ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” Not one to break my top 30 but not bad either and that leads to the closer “The Angel of the Night.” The song ends the album with a seven minute long 70s style progressive rock fanfare without abandoning the metal. It’s a great way to close the album, especially with the piano bit in the second half of the song before going back to all out metal assault and then ending with the keyboards, nicely done.

Track Listing:

  1. We Rule the Night
  2. I’m On Fire
  3. Thy Kingdom Come
  4. Image of a Faun At Twilight
  5. Noble Savage
  6. Fight Tooth and Nail
  7. The Evil in Her Eyes
  8. Rock Me
  9. Don’t Close Your Eyes
  10. The Angel of Light


David DeFeis- vocals, keyboards

Ed Pursino- guitar

Joe O’Reilly- bass

Joey Ayvazian- drums

David DeFeis has said that the “Noble Savage” album was one of the most important albums in the history of the band. I would agree that this album would point to the direction future Virgin Steele albums would travel. Also, I have been told that their 90s albums would be even better. If so, then this album was a great place to start.

Next post: Raven- Stay Hard

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2 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Virgin Steele- Noble Savage”

  1. Worth it for Thy Kingdom Come and the title track! The 90s stuff is just in a different league though.

    Liked by 1 person

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